Labor has had four years to listen to the community and conservationists about regulating fish farms, and to observe the slow motion marine disaster that’s still occurring in Macquarie Harbour. Both Labor Leader, Rebecca White and Braddon MP, Shane Broad have clearly decided to ignore scientific evidence and community outrage, and have instead put salmon companies’ interests first in Labor’s fish farm policy.
Labor’s fish farm policy is identical to the Liberals in essence. It would continue the short-term smash and grab farming of salmon in inshore waters, harbours and channels.
Public waterways are for everyone, and not for industry to carve up and profit from.
Their policy virtually guarantees the salmon industry will never achieve community or consumer confidence, and risks further damage to the marine environment and the economic survival of the industry. It’s clear Labor and the Liberals think as one on fish farms, and the Greens are the only voice for coastal communities.
The Labor Party’s sham fish farm plan addresses none of the issues that have put salmon companies on a collision course with local communities, conservationists, recreational fishers, tourism operators, boaties and other commercial fishers.
It doesn’t address the industry’s dramatic expansion into the waters of Storm Bay, King Island, Circular Head, Port Arthur and Okehampton Bay. Those would still continue unchecked.
The power to approve expansion plans will remain entirely with the next Minister for Primary Industries, and that person’s decision will remain immune from appeal. The voice of communities and other users of our shared waterways will remain excluded when new salmon leases and licences are granted.
Even the unjustifiable and cruel practice of seal ‘relocations’, so damaging to Far North West fisheries, will be allowed to continue.
Labor’s main ‘fix’ for regulating the salmon industry is to rebrand the corrupted processes of the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel ‘Independent’. Just like the Liberals when they rebadged Forestry Tasmania as ‘Sustainable Timbers Tasmania’, Labor are taking the public for suckers and will believe changing the name will change the structure.
Their proposed ‘Independent Aquaculture Advisory Panel’ will be independent in name only.
Labor and the Liberals are letting industry write the policies that protect our state, and instead represent all Tasmanians. Only the Greens are standing up to protect Tasmania’s beautiful marine environment and to be an unwavering voice for communities.